Useful Tips when Working with an Interpreter
Ever experience a difficult discussion with someone through an interpreter? Here are a few tips to help your next conversation run smoother.
- Introduce yourself to the interpreter – offer an overview of the meeting/conversation. At this time, provide the interpreter with copies of any documents you will be referencing.
- Use “I” and “you” – speak directly to your audience as if the interpreter was not there.
- Speak naturally – do not rush. The interpreter will ask you to clarify or repeat certain words and sentences if necessary.
- Allow for additional time – conversations will take longer; therefore keep this in mind when scheduling.
- Avoid humor if possible – sometimes humor doesn’t translate well in different cultures. Consult the interpreter first to see if it will translate properly.
- Avoid private conversations – interpreters are trained to interpret everything that is being said during the appointment.
- Ensure your audience understands – be sure that your message is accurately received. Remember, nodding does not always mean comprehension.
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